Whether it's deciding to have a natural birth, a home birth, or making like a Kardashian and turning your placenta into a mood-boosting snack, there are a ton of choices to make when it comes to the birthing process. One topic that has been the subject of much debate is baby's first precious moments, and whether or not parents and professionals in the US are clamping and cutting umbilical cords a little too soon. Well, according to new guidelines just released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the answer is yes -- we've been hasty in our cord cutting. Delayed cord clamping is officially the way to go, when and where possible.
Delayed cord clamping -- the process of waiting to clamp and cut the umbilical cord for 30-60 seconds (and in some cases up to two minutes or longer) after birth -- has officially been endorsed by the ACOG.
The new guidelines, which have also been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Nurse–Midwives, will be published in Obstetrics and Gynecology in January. The ACOG officially recommends "a delay in umbilical cord clamping in vigorous term and preterm infants for at least 30-60 seconds after birth," for a variety of health benefits.
Click through our slideshow to learn more about delayed cord clamping and the new ACOG recommendations, and to see some incredible birth photos that truly showcase the wonder and beauty of birth -- and the umbilical cord!